Our fabulous food critic, Emmeline Blackwell, is back! This time she tucks into brunch, her favorite meal of the week, at Pease’s at Bunn Gourmet.
I have often felt that the subtext of every action taken in life is just an attempt to find the ideal version of someone, place, experience or thing. If there is one day and time of each week that is the most ideal I would proudly cast my vote for Sunday mornings. (I may actually write-in and vote for ”Sunday mornings” on November 8th but I digress.) Regardless, we can all generally agree that Sunday mornings are as easy as Lionel Richie suggests they are and this idyllic day is only enhanced by opportunities for Sunday brunch.
In my humble opinion brunch is the pièce de résistance of all dining opportunities one can partake in. At this meal, a person can order booze with pancakes without judgment. Day drinking is not only embraced, it is encouraged. Gluttony is not a deadly sin at brunch because it does not exist; after all, it is two meals rolled into one. And brunch appeals to our sloth-like tendencies to sleep in; you can’t typically get brunch until 10am or later.
Up until a few years ago, Sunday brunch in Springfield was as elusive as a unicorn; I have heard of its existence, I wanted to believe it existed, but I could never find it. I am happy to note that brunch is becoming more prevalent and in the spirit of Sunday mornings I offer an enthusiastic, “AMEN” to this development.
One of the newest opportunities to brunch in Springfield is at Bunn Gourmet (2941 Plaza Drive in Springfield), located in The Gables. On a recent Sunday, I could think of nothing more appealing than slothing into Bunn Gourmet to partake in the weekly ritual that is brunch.
Now, upon entering Bunn Gourmet I felt as though I stepped into a world in which Willie Wonka and Ralph Lauren collaborated to create what I envision heaven may look like. A massive chandelier greets you as you enter, colorful jars of candy rise to the top of the vaulted ceiling; luxe furniture and historic photos on the wall create a sanctuary that is nothing short of perfection. I can honestly say that if Sunday is the most ideal day of the week Bunn Gourmet is the most ideal retail space and café in Springfield.
My morning company and I wondered up to the counter, were greeted with a friendly smile and perused the menu. They offered everything from biscuits and gravy to Bloody Marys and baked goods. I ultimately ordered the Quiche of the Day ($6.99), which was spinach, tomato and goat cheese, a mimosa ($8) and a gourmet cinnamon roll ($2.99). My company ordered the gourmet egg sandwich with bacon ($4.99) a 16oz single origin Costa Rica made in BUNN’s Trifecta machine ($3.49) and a Gourmet Blueberry Muffin ($2.50). In the spirit of the “fast casual” dinning model we were given our beverages, a buzzer, and found a place to sit.
While we enjoyed our coffee and mimosa, both of which were to our liking there were a number of other tables occupied with people of all ages enjoying a leisurely morning. We also noticed the music playing which was a combination of Christian worship and 80s tunes. I get the former but hearing Pat Benatar sing “Hit me with your best shot” at 10:35am on a Sunday morning is a bit much. I would personally vote for the music of Louis Armstrong and the like during brunch; it would seem to align with the overall feeling of the café. Within a few moments our buzzer buzzed and we went to retrieve our copious amount of food.
Upon returning to the table we set to conquer all that was ahead of us and started with the main dishes. The quiche of the day was moist with a nice balance of flavors brought by the roasted tomatoes and goat cheese. I found the crust was flaky and the petite salad on the plate was a nice touch. Overall this dish was highly satisfying and I would strongly recommend ordering on your next visit. As I consumed my quiche I gazed across the table to watch my company tackling the massive gourmet egg sandwich, which for the cost was a tremendous value. The bacon, egg, cheese and biscuit as individual items were all nicely prepared but together the sandwich needed a bit more moisture. It would be great if there was an option to add maple butter, bacon jam, aioli, fresh tomato or avocado to the sandwich. In the end, the sandwich required that we surrender and use utensils to finish it off and now we were both stuffed.
But, we forged ahead to the blueberry muffin and cinnamon roll. It was apparent that both items were freshly baked. I did opt for the original cinnamon roll, unadulterated but multiple flavors are available from pistachio to pumpkin spice. As for the pumpkin spice flavor (of everything), I would rather not eat something that tastes like a home décor store smells so I stuck with the original. Of the two we both agreed that the cinnamon roll was the superior to the blueberry muffin, but to be fair the cinnamon roll has icing and everything is better with icing.
Bottom Line: Bunn Gourmet is offering a robust Sunday brunch in a beautiful setting, which will tempt you to make a visit here part of a weekly ritual.
3.75 out of 4 stars - moisten my biscuit next time and it’s a 4 out of 4!
Cost: SS ($17-$22 per person)
Visit www.bunngourmet.com for more info.